Archive for the ‘global warming’ Category

Obama Spending, Tax Plans Likely Out The Window As CBO Predicts Much More Debt

March 20, 2009

President Barack Obama‘s budget would generate deficits averaging almost $1 trillion a year over the next decade, according to the latest congressional estimates, significantly worse than predicted by the White House just last month.

The Congressional Budget Office figures, obtained by The Associated Press Friday, predict Obama’s budget will produce $9.3 trillion worth of red ink over 2010-2019. That’s $2.3 trillion worse than the White House predicted in its budget.

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer

Worst of all, CBO says the deficit under Obama’s policies would never go below 4 percent of the size of the economy, figures that economists agree are unsustainable. By the end of the decade, the deficit would exceed 5 percent of gross domestic product, a dangerously high level.

The latest figures, even worse than expected by top Democrats, throw a major monkey wrench into efforts to enact Obama’s budget, which promises universal health care for all and higher spending for domestic programs like education and research into renewable energy.

Barack Obama
Getty Images

The dismal deficit figures, if they prove to be accurate, inevitably raise the prospect that Obama and his allies controlling Congress would have to consider raising taxes after the recession ends or paring back his agenda.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090320/a
p_on_go_pr_wh/obama_budget

“Look Beyond the Smoke Screen”
Michelle Malkin
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/2
0/look-beyond-the-bogus-bonus-smokescreen/

Bush Defiecit not nearly this large: Related:
http://liberaledu.wordpress.com/2009/03/20
/first-signs-that-obama-economy-is-dangerou
sly-close-to-sinking-the-us/

Obama Has Failed To Spell Out His Vision

March 14, 2009

President Obama has failed to lay out an integrated, realistic and comprehensive vision for his presidency, despite his inaugural address, a “state of the union” like opportunity before a joint session of Congress, and innumerable major policy speeches on health care, the economy, education et al.

And maybe he likes it that way.

Forget about any vision spelled out by Obama during the campaign for the White House — all those promises have either evaporated, been disarded or swepts aside by Obama himself, by the pratical applications of the presidency or by the economic “catastrophe”  — so named by Obama himself.

Transparency turned out to be opaque, lobbyists did get jobs and on and on.

American foreign policy is already adrift, with inept liaisons between Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, a severe challenge to the freedom of the seas by China and a rattling of sabers by North Korea that only Japan has accepted as a real problem.

Obama has lost a key airbase in Kyrgyzstan that could impair allied efforts in Afghanistan, which could ultimately go down the drain along with its neighbor Pakistan.

And the legal wrangling over Gitmo, the use of terms like “terrorism” and “enemy combatant” is taking us where?

Where and how are the questions.  Where is U.S. foreign policy headed and how does Obama propose to get there?

If these questions are not answered, and soon, we can likely expect a reactive rather than a proactive U.S. foreign policy, which we have had for at least eight years and perhaps many more depending upon one’s point of view.  The Bush Administration, despite its trumpeting of the Bush Doctrine, largely reacted to 9-11 and other real world events.

Will Obama do the same?

And on domestic policy, there is a growing sense of discord between those that want the economic ills solved before we dive into overhauling health care, education, the environment and our national energy system and thioose like Obama who say this is exactly the right tme to overhaul everything.

Obama crammed the stimulus through a frightened congress without hearings and followed that with an omnibus packed with pork earmarks that he pledged to eliminate during the campaign and this week promised to eliminate next year.

There is no now in explaining the truth in this Administration so far, only fear and we have to do it all without worry about the cost and the debt.

Where’s the blueprint?  Where’s the roadmap?

The only roadmap so far is to look at the proposed spending.  This is the administration of spending without apparent planning.  And the very fact that commentators are asking about socialism shows the theme one gets from looking at the spending.

Maybe Obama believes this is the ONLY time to move his domestic agenda along — during a period of crisis with a Democratically controlled congress with little analytical effort, a willing public, and an Obama swallowing media….plus a lot of voters who will profit from all this spending.

That’s socialism.

*******************

By Sean Wilentz

The president did an excellent job explaining how the federal government has spurred economic growth in the past, but, historian Sean Wilentz asks, when is he going to lay out a specific vision for America’s future?

It’s been nearly a decade since the country has heard a vibrant, full-throated Democratic speech from a president of the United States. President Obama gave one tonight. In presenting his budget priorities to the Congress and the American people, he provided a clear defense of the federal government’s historic role as a catalyst for economic growth and the nation’s welfare. From the Transcontinental Railroad to the Interstate Highway System, he explained, private wealth has always expanded with the help of the national government. And with that, the president exorcised the political spirit of Ronald Reagan from Capitol Hill.

Energy, health, education—these are at the top of the administration’s agenda. If nothing had happened last September, when Lehman Brothers was allowed to collapse, these policies also would have been at the top. But a great deal has changed since the Democratic convention ratified the party’s platform, with these same priorities. The country and the world have plunged into the greatest economic crisis since the Depression. And that must be the president’s chief preoccupation.

Read the rest:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs
-and-stories/2009-02-24/obamas-
day-of-reckoning/

****************************

By Ted Anthony, AP

“He sees this emergency as a time to reshape the country,” says Theodore Sorensen, one of Kennedy’s top advisers who was instrumental in shaping the famed 1961 inaugural address that defined the mission of the New Frontier.

Sorensen was struck by Obama’s use of the economic crisis to open channels to other issues — from the imperative of education as a patriotic duty to universal health care and a recalibration of environmental issues. Ultimately, each impacts the economy.

Finding the right fit

To frame his goals, Obama invoked the always appealing image of Americans dreaming big and having their biggest achievements ahead of them. Trouble is, his next steps, as outlined, are far too interventionist for Republicans’ comfort.

Princeton University historian Sean Wilentz, whose latest book chronicles the age of Ronald Reagan, says Obama, with Tuesday’s address, “exorcised” Reagan.

Just as Reagan articulated decades-old GOP principles in his own way, so, too, did Obama synthesize varied progressive principles into his plan of action.

“We’re getting an update of Democratic ideals,” Wilentz says. “The age of Reagan is over. Republicans … have nothing. Ideas that once commanded the heights of national politics 30 years ago are now in disarray….

Read the rest:
http://www.tennessean.com/articl
e/20090226/NEWS08/902260341

Related:
Obama Could Lose Afghanistan, Pakistan

Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

 Obama Backs-Off On Human Rights Issues: Economy is That Important

“we still managed to spend more money and pile up more debt, both as individuals and through our government, than ever before.”  Barack Obama said this during his joint session of congress speech but now is adding even more debt…..

Obama speech, Feb 24, 2009:
http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/200
9/02/obamas_speech_before_joint_ses.html

“In other words, we have lived through an era where too often short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity”

What is the stimulus and the omnibus spells long-term prosperity?

Various Views On Obama Foreign Policy: “Just Like Bush” Or Radical Change?

March 10, 2009

Opinions vary on the initial reading of Barack Obama’s foreign policy.  I tend to view it as misguided, weak and inept.  Robert Kagan wrote in the Washington Post March 9, 2009, that Obama’s foreign policy was “Bushian” because it has changed so little from George W’s time.  Anthony Faiola writes in the Washington Post on March 10 that Obama’s trade policy will emphasize global warming and displacement of American workers  — using social issues as a reason to promote or slow trade during a global economy Obama has called a “catastrophe”….

Related:
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Obama Throws Britain Under the Bus: Relationship “Reset” and “Regime Change”

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?
.
Protocol: Brit Media Furious At Obama

Czech President Says Obama Views “Unknown” On Key Foreign Policy Issues

White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

Obama, State Department, White House Staff, Hillary “Unaware,” “Overwhelmed” by Expectations
.
Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

 Obama Forges New Path in Protocol

 Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”
(Now we can add stupid….)

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/
09/photoshop-flashback-of-the-day/

*******

President Obama’s foreign policy team has been working hard to present its policies to the world as constituting a radical break from the Bush years. In the broadest sense, this has been absurdly easy: Obama had the world at hello.

By Robert Kagen
Washington Post
.
When it comes to actual policies, however, selling the pretense of radical change has required some sleight of hand — and a helpful press corps. Thus the New York Times reports a dramatic “shift” in China policy to “rigorous and persistent engagement,” as if the previous two administrations had been doing something else for the past decade and a half. Another Times headline trumpeted a new “softer tone on North Korea,” based on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that the United States would have a “great openness to working with” Pyongyang — as soon as it agrees to “verifiable and complete dismantling and denuclearization.” Startling.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content
/article/2009/03/08/AR2009030801493.html?h
pid=opinionsbox1

******************

The Obama administration is aggressively reworking U.S. trade policy to more strongly emphasize domestic and social issues, from the displacement of American workers to climate change.

By Anthony Faiola 
Washington Post

Even as world trade takes its steepest drop in 80 years amid the gobal economic crisis, the administration is preparing to take a harder line with America’s trading partners. It will seek new benchmarks before supporting already-written trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea and is suggesting that it will dig in its heels on global trade talks, demanding that other countries make broader concessions first.

“I believe in trade and will work to expand it, but I also know that not all Americans are winning from it and that our trading partners are not always playing by the rules,” Ron Kirk, President Obama’s nominee as U.S. trade representative, said in confirmation testimony last night before the Senate Finance Committee.

The shift underscores the mounting pressures confronting any effort to expand trade during the economic crisis. Even before the global economy went code red late last year, talks aimed at expanding global trade stalled as Western countries warred with emerging giants like China and India over how to further open markets.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-d
yn/content/article/2009/03/09/AR2
009030903157.html

Obama’s Next Challenge: Iran, Israel, Russia? It’s Here Now

March 8, 2009

“Mark my words,” Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden warned last October. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking.”

“Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

Today Iran tested a new long range ballistic missile.  Israel sees Iran as an existential threat armed with such missiles and nuclear weapons.

A right wing government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu is being formed in Israel and Netanyahu has made noise about attacking Iran in the past.

The Jerusalem Post wrote today about Israel’s Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, who told the cabinet on Sunday that Iran had “crossed the technological threshold” and that its attainment of  nuclear military capability was now a matter of “incorporating the goal of producing an atomic bomb to its strategy.”

See:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid
=1236269373103&pagename=JPost%2FJP
Article%2FShowFull

And all of this includes Russia.

Since President Obama’s inauguration, Russia has been testing Mr. Obama and his administration rigorously and continuously.

Russia has been jerking around all of Europe, showing who is boss of the gas and winter heating fuel for NATO which inludes the U.S.

Russia has even managed to withstand a threatened NATO boycott of ties as a direct result of Russia’s invasion of Georgia and South Ossetia last summer.  Today NATO members scrapped their threatened cut off of Russian ties just as Russia threatened to again stop the flow of Russian oil to Europe.

And the New York Times and other media reported that President Obama sent Russian President Medvedev a letter which may have offered to scrap U.S. missile defense plans in Europe in exchange, some believe, for Russian help in stopping Iran’s nuclear program.

America’s missile defense effort in Europe was planned to stop Iran’s long range ballistic missiles: which were demonstrated as real and advancing again today.

Russian leaders are certain to be gloating at the pliability of the Obama Administration and the West since Obama became president.

Despite Joe Biden’s warning last October, the international “testing” of Obama is ongoing — just not as obviously and  publically as Russia tested JFK during the Cuban missile crisis.

It seems that Russian leaders may have matured and become more subtle since the 1960s.  U.S. leaders have not….

So, even before America’s economic problems are solved, even before the stock market has started to recover, even before the stimulus has worked any magic, and even without a real start of revolutionizing health care and turing our thirst for oil into a love of wind: the Biden predicted testing is ongoing.

And the clock is ticking.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
March 8, 2009

Iranian clerics watch the launch of a Shahab-3 ballistic missile ... 
Iranian clerics watch the launch of a Shahab-3 ballistic missile outside Qom in 2006. A top Iranian military commander said that the country has missiles that can reach the nuclear sites of its arch-foe Israel.(AFP/File/null)

Related:
 Iran test-fires new long-range missile
.
Fox News on missile test:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0
,2933,506813,00.html

.
Russia, U.S. Missile Defense Dispute

Russian Relations With U.S., Europe Improve: But Putin, Medvedev Understand Strength, Power More than Diplomacy

 Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”
.
Israel Ponders War on Iran; Obama, Russia HaggleRussia Testing Obama: Just as Biden Predicted
.
Russia building anti-satellite weapons

 Russia: Medvedev Pushing Putin Out?

Russia Verifies “American, Western Weakness”

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Mr. Obama and Russia
NYT Editorial: Russia only understands strength….

 Chutzpah: Admire Russia’s Arrogance

Russia, Obama and the Strategic Chess Tournament

Iranians walk past a replica of a Shahab-3 missile on display ... 
Iranians walk past a replica of a Shahab-3 missile on display in Tehran. The Fars news agency says Iran has “successfully” tested a new air-to-sea missile with a range of 110 kilometres (68 miles).(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

Never waste a good crisis, Clinton says

March 7, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience Friday “never waste a good crisis,” and highlighted the opportunity of rebuilding economies in a greener, less energy-intensive way.

Highlighting Europe’s unease the day after Russia warned that gas flows via Ukraine might be halted, she also condemned the use of energy as a political lever.

By Pete Harrison
Reuters

Clinton told young Europeans at the European Parliament that global economic turmoil provided a fresh opening. “Never waste a good crisis … Don’t waste it when it can have a very positive impact on climate change and energy security,” she said.

Europe sees the United States as a crucial ally in global climate talks in Copenhagen in December, after President Barack Obama signaled a new urgency in tackling climate change, in stark contrast to his predecessor George W. Bush.

Read the rest:
http://in.reuters.com/article/environm
entNews/idINTRE5251VN20090306

Related:
 Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009. Emanuel famously said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

Obama’s First Weeks: Economic Disaster, Socialist Agenda, Congressional Pork, Limbaugh Attacked, and “We Won”

March 6, 2009

It seems such a long time ago that Barack Obama predicted an economic disaster.  He even used the word “catastrophe.”

In record time, it seems, President Obama has made the economy worse.  At least we can say for sure, he made it no better.

Dow’s Decline Is Fastest for a New President in Nearly a Century

Unemployment Highest Since 1983; Business Leaders Have No Confidence in Obama Economic Plan, Team

NYT: After March 6 Economic News, “2009 is Probably a Lost Cause”

Obama’s Economic Strategy Akin To LBJ’s Vietnam Fiasco: “Pour In More”

And while grappling with an economic nightmare, the President of the United States insists this is the right time, the perfect time, the exact time to fund health care reform, education reform, a total re-engineering of the energy system in the U.S. and other social changes.

Obama Can’t Revive Economy With Socialism

Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Stock Market

The stimulus bill was a kind of Obama Blitzkrieg through Congress with a bill written by Nancy pelosi’s crowd in the house.

This effort was so successful that the gameplan is being used again to bring us health care reform.

And there are many other signs of trouble.

GM may fail despite billions in bailout.  Ditto AIG.

And just for fun the President of the United States and all his top men engaged in a public battle with a radio talk show host.

 Obama Calls Limbaugh Top Party Leader; Voters Don’t Buy It

Have we lost our way at the White House?  Where’s the hope?

Most medical students and doctors know the phrase primum non nocere.

First do no harm.

[Commentary]
Martin Kozlowski, WSJ

******

 

All this fun in the first few weeks of the Obama Administration and we still haven’t seen any trouble from Hamas, Hezbollah, terrorists, China, Russia, Israel, Iran, etc., etc……

Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

 Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/06/jeri-thompson-roasts-the-rus
h-deranged/

Related:
 Households, Businesses Have Stopped Spending; Now It’s Congressional Responsibility Time

 American Workers, Businesses Cut Back; Obama Launches Spending Spree

Obama’s Brazen Deception: Why The Stock Market Won’t Recover Soon

http://nobamablog.wordpress.com/2009
/03/06/deception-at-core-of-obama-plans/

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009. Emanuel famously said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

http://nobamablog.wordpress.com/2009/
03/06/deception-at-core-of-obama-plans/

Obama’s Brazen Deception: Why The Stock Market Won’t Recover Soon

March 6, 2009

Forget the pork. Forget the waste. Forget the 8,570 earmarks in a bill supported by a president who poses as the scourge of earmarks. Forget the “2 trillion dollars in savings” that “we have already identified,” $1.6 trillion of which President Obama’s budget director later admits is the “savings” of not continuing the surge in Iraq until 2019 — 11 years after George Bush ended it, and eight years after even Bush would have had us out of Iraq completely.

By Charles Krauthanmmer
The Washington Post
.
Forget all of this. This is run-of-the-mill budget trickery. True, Obama’s tricks come festooned with strings of zeros tacked onto the end. But that’s a matter of scale, not principle.

All presidents do that. But few undertake the kind of brazen deception at the heart of Obama’s radically transformative economic plan, a rhetorical sleight of hand so smoothly offered that few noticed.

The logic of Obama’s address to Congress went like this:

“Our economy did not fall into decline overnight,” he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care and education — importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co
ntent/article/2009/03/05/AR200903050
2951.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Realted:
Stock Markets: When Will the Bull Return?

 Households, Businesses Have Stopped Spending; Now It’s Congressional Responsibility Time

Presidency of Fear

March 5, 2009

Barack Obama ran for president as the candidate of  “hope” but he is choosing to govern as the president of fear.

The economy is, in his words, a “catastrophe.”  This necessitated a railroading of the American people and the Congress commonly called the “stimulus,” the largest spending and debt bill in the 200 plus year history of the United States — passed without Congressional hearings and in record time.

Many memebers of the House and the Senate admit they never read the stimulus bill.

The “omnibus” spending bill is a joke — a large heaping pile of pork stacked atop the stimulus that hasn’t yet had time to do anything.

And we continue to piour dollars we don’t have into AIG and other entities: even as we know there is a mortagage bailout and bank bailout need apparently just off center stage.

I fear we have lost control of spending and debt and like a wounded man bleeding alone we have no recourse.

Where’s the hope gone?

Now we are told the tragedies of American life that only President Obama’s spending and debt ideas can solve include the environment, global warming and energy; health care; and home ownership.

Just this morning we were informed by MSNBC (The Mostly Such Nonsense as Barack Channel) and ABC (The American Barack Channel) that our president will tell a “health care summi” today that:

“The cost of health care now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds,” and “By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans to lose their homes.”

Even NPR’s liberal commentator Juan Williams said last evening on Fox News Channel: “This is now the presidentcy of crisis, crisis, crisis and the sky is falling.”

Frankly, President Obama, who as already doubled American debt in just a few feeks and has single-handedly garnered condemnation from investors as seen in the stock market, is now proposing a multi-billion dollar debt-financed spending effort that will leasd to the rationing of health care, if the Canadain system is any model.  In Canada, women diagnosed with breast cancer are told to come back for their first radiation treatment in four months: in American the doctor recommended waiting period is not to exceed four weeks.

We are spending trillions in debt based upon fear: fear that we will have unemployed, fear that people will lose their houses, fear that the world will melt from warming, fear from desiease and inadequate health care and the list goes on.  The trillions we have alread put into the economic system have not gained us anything but more fear and a tanking stock market.

And now we have the Rush Limbaugh fear that the Republicans have no idea what they are doing so we Democrats must be right — after all we Democrats are the only game in town.

My fear, and the fear of many other conservatives, is that the president and his team are changing the course and the fabric of our nation inexorably toward socialism — and we have seen how that works in France and elsewhere and care nothing for the prospects.

I fear that taxes are going up because taxes ARE going up.  I fear that “cap and trade” is a shell game that willl slow economic investment and growth and only make middle men rich.  Wasn’t “cap and trade” at the core of Enron?

I have fear that we will never get back to the properity of America in the Clinton years because taxes and debt and government controls and regulations will stifle investment and growth.

I fear that President Obama may actually win his war on the wealthy — and Obama and the over-taxed and frightened wealthy will create far fewer opportunities and jobs in the future than America did in the past without all of Obama’s “help”…..

I was at first afraid because Barack Obama told me to be afraid.  Now I fear that Barack Obama and the likes of Timothy Geithner don’t know what they are doing. 

And I fear even more that they know exactly what they are doing.

Related from ABC News:
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/
2009/03/president-oba-5.html

Michelle:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/04/ne
wsflash-wonderboy-treasury-secretary-is-in-
over-his-head/

Reuters reported:
.
“If we want to create jobs and rebuild our economy, then we must address the crushing cost of healthcare this year, in this administration,” Obama said in remarks prepared for the opening of the health care summit event.

“Making investments in reform now, investments that will dramatically lower costs, won’t add to our budget deficits in the long-term — rather, it is one of the best ways to reduce them,” he said.

****

–You know: I just don’t believe that “reforming” health care will not add to the debt but it will increase prosperity….because it hasn’t done so in France, Britain, Canada and elsewhere .. …and president Obama’s record of speaking the truth is already down the toilet…

Related:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200903
05/pl_nm/us_obama_healthcare

Tough Times For Obama Faithful

February 7, 2009

I know it’s been a tough week, little Obamaites. You’ve been feeling … unstimulated.
.
But think of it this way — the drama in the Senate drove Tom Daschle completely out of the news. In a week or so, nobody will even remember that he was nominated for anything.

Perk up and feel free to ask questions:

How could so many cabinet nominees get into trouble? The Obama transition team was supposed to be so organized! Did their seven-page questionnaire ask about Facebook pages but not tax liens?

They did ask about tax liens, yet miraculously still wound up with two candidates who had them. It’s possible one or both of them didn’t even know. Maybe this goes to show that there are tax liens lurking everywhere, like cold germs. No one is immune. There could be one in your closet at this very moment, just waiting for you to go to sleep so it can pounce.

Wasn’t Tom Daschle crucial for health care reform? What are they going to do without him?

We have to get past the idea that transformative change requires one great cabinet member to steer it. That’s the kind of thinking that got us Donald Rumsfeld. Tom Daschle always seemed like a lovely man, but the idea that only he could get a big, important, dramatic health care reform through the Senate seems a little flawed, given the fact that he never got any big, important, dramatic reforms through the Senate when he was the actual majority leader.

By Gail Collins
The New York Times

I dropped out of school for a semester to campaign for Barack Obama. And now I’m asking myself whether I spent four months living with my aunt and going door to door in Dayton, Ohio, just so we could have a stimulus plan written by a bunch of moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats in the Senate.

I don’t know how many times we need to go over this, but this is actually a real-life version of what Obama promised during the campaign. Didn’t you jump up and cheer when your guy promised that he’d get Republicans and Democrats to work together?

I wanted them to work together on global warming, not on cutting money for Head Start out of the stimulus.

And Obama feels your pain. He always said the bipartisan path was going to be rocky, but this week the going was so rough that the great trailer-tractor of stimulus blew out several tires on the shoals of post-partisanism. It was embarrassing — the President of the United States held White House negotiations with people who had already announced that they had no intention of voting for his bill. He let minority-party subleaders lecture him about what’s wrong with redistribution of wealth. He had a bipartisan Super Bowl party! But he still wound up cooling his heels, waiting for word from the newly hatched moderate caucus on what would happen next. This is the group that was led by Susan Collins of Maine. In November, we apparently elected Collins and her fellow Maine Republican, Olympia Snowe, to help run the country. And you wasted all that time thinking about Joe Biden.

Why did Obama nominate Senator Judd Gregg to be commerce secretary? He’s not just a Republican; he isn’t even that moderate. And he voted to eliminate the Commerce Department!

It’s not exactly a big gamble. Although the Commerce Department has many important duties, like supervising the patent office, it’s sort of like an old attic where people throw stuff that doesn’t fit anyplace else. And while there have been some sterling commerce secretaries, it has been run for lengthy periods of time by complete morons and the nation didn’t seem to suffer appreciably.

Even when I get irked with Obama, I still want to help him. Isn’t there something people can do?

This weekend the Obama army is going to rise again, creating a nation of stimulus house parties, made up of people who would like nothing more than to spend their days off talking about the administration’s economic plan. There’s a Mommies, Daddies and Wee Ones Gathering in Brighton, Colo. (“We will have kid crafts, videos, juice, snacks and coffee.”) And a gathering called “What Happened to My Retirement Nest Egg?” is scheduled for Watsonville, Calif. (“We’ll break out the wine and cheese.”)

Or, for sterner spirits, there’s the Economic System Redesign Leadership Meeting in Manhattan, which is sponsored by the Corporate Social Responsibility Advocates for Obama, the Social Innovators for Obama and the Sustainability Activists for Obama. (“Please bring your own lunch or eat before coming.”)

I still miss the way it was before the election, when everything seemed clearer.

Face it, you miss George W. Bush. Ever since he slunk off the scene, things have gotten all vague and squishy. You want somebody to rally against and Mitch McConnell is not an adequate substitute, even if he does look a little bit like the groundhog that assaulted the mayor of New York City this week.

Really, everybody’s getting so cranky.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/07/o
pinion/07collins.html?_r=1

Poll: Economy, Jobs Top Americans’ Priorities (Global Warming Last); Obama Solutions?

January 23, 2009

The American people gave Barack Obama a mandate to solve the problem.

And the problem is clearly jobs and the economy, a new Pew Research Poll says.

“That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood,” the President said during his Inaugural Day Address.

Former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell said, “The American people, I think fundamentally, bet on President Obama because of the economic situation we are in.”
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“The stock market dropped another 300 points on this glorious Inauguration Day and people are losing jobs, and that will be No. 1 for him,” Powell said.

America is inching each day closer to an economic stimulus that will give our children and grandchildren more than $2 Trillion in debt.

Yet no one is certain the stimulus will work.

Related:
Will Obama Stimulus Create Jobs? Many “Experts” Can’t Say (Or Say No…)

If there is doubt that the American economy will recover as a result of the actions we are taking, we are either taking the wrong actions or we need to ask ourselves “what else should be done? What should we do differently?”

There will be no national security without a strong American economy.  No social security.  No health care. No war on global warming.

A news story this week  said the only segments of the California economy showing “growth” were in the sectors of government and  medical services.  That won’t produce “wealth” for future investment….

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As Barack Obama takes office, the public’s focus is overwhelmingly on domestic policy concerns – particularly the economy. Strengthening the nation’s economy and improving the job situation stand at the top of the public’s list of domestic priorities for 2009. Meanwhile, the priority placed on issues such as the environment, crime, illegal immigration and even reducing health care costs has fallen off from a year ago.

PEW Survey

While it is not unusual for the public to prioritize domestic over foreign policy, the balance of opinion today is particularly one-sided. Roughly seven-in-ten Americans (71%) say that President Obama should focus on domestic policy, while just 11% prioritize foreign policy. By comparison, last January, 56% cited domestic policy as most important while 31% said Bush should focus on foreign policy.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 7-11 among 1,503 adults on cell phones and landlines, finds that strengthening the economy and improving the job situation are higher priorities today than they have been at any point….

Read the rest and see the graphs:
http://people-press.org/report/485
/economy-top-policy-priority

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